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Amaravati is capital of Andhra Pradesh, declares Chandrababu Naidu

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Amaravati, June 11 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister-designate N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday declared that Amaravati is the state capital.

Addressing a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which elected him as the leader, he made it clear that his government would not play with the state’s future in the name of three state capitals and would continue development of Amaravati as the state capital.

“Even after 10 years we are not in a position to say where is our state capital,” he said, slamming the previous government of YSR Congress Party for putting a halt to the development of Amaravati as the state capital.

In 2019, the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government reversed the decision by the earlier TDP government to develop Amaravati as the state capital and announced that three state capitals would be developed.

The YSCRP government had mooted Visakhapatnam as the administrative capital, Kurnool as the judicial capital and Amaravati as the legislative capital.

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“Our capital is Amaravati,” declared Naidu, who is set to take oath as the Chief Minister on Wednesday.

Naidu assured that Visakhapatnam will be developed as a financial capital and a modern city and Kurnool will be developed in all respects.

Revealing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NDA leaders will attend the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, Naidu said the Centre’s help was required for the state’s development.

The Chief Minister-designate vowed to complete the Polavaram project. Claiming that the TDP government in the past had completed 72 per cent of the works, he said the remaining works would be completed with the Centre’s help.

Stating that their government will be a ‘people’s government’, the TDP chief said there would be no Praja Vedika-like demolitions.

He was referring to the demolition of a meeting hall adjacent to his house, which was built when he was the chief minister.

Alleging that the previous government pursued politics of vendetta, he underlined the need to move ahead with constructive politics.

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Naidu said the people gave an unprecedented mandate to the TDP and its allies in the state. “We have won 93 per cent of seats. This is the first time in the country,” he said.

Asserting that 57 per cent of people voted for the alliance, the TDP chief said it was now time to live up to their expectations by rebuilding the state.

He was all praise for Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan for taking the initiative to ally with the TDP when he (Naidu) was in jail. Later, the BJP also joined hands with them, thus ensuring that the anti-YSRCP votes were not split.

Reiterating that the YSRCP government carried out destruction, Naidu said those who indulged in irregularities would be punished as per the law.

The TDP chief also recalled that his family was insulted in the Assembly. “I called it Kaurava Sabha and came out. I vowed to return to the Assembly after a win in the people’s court. People supported me in fulfilling this pledge,” he said.

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Stating that he served as the Chief Minister for 14 years and Leader of Opposition for 15 years, Naidu said he converted every crisis into opportunity. “Andhra Pradesh has many problems. The state is in complete ruins. All sections have suffered. Farmers have landed in debt,” he said.

Naidu also assured that during his visits there will be no closure of shops and roads and putting up curtains. “Chief Minister is also an ordinary man. The post is for service and not for supremacy. I have told (police) not to inconvenience people during the movement of my convoy,” he said

–IANS

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Konkan Railway cancels 'rent a bike' business plan in Goa

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Panaji, June 12 (IANS) After a stiff opposition to its proposed rent a bike service, Konkan Railway on Wednesday cancelled the tender floated in this regard, official said.

Speaking to IANS, Baban Ghatge, Deputy General Manager of Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), said that they have cancelled the project.

“This project received stiff opposition from locals, hence we have cancelled the tender floated for the service of renting a bike,” he said.

Goa Forward MLA Vijai Sardesai had warned to oppose the plans to venture into the tourism sector, which according to him would have deprived locals of business.

“The powerful voice of Goans has prevailed. The moment I came to know of Konkan Railways’ (KR) flagrant attempts to sneak into Goa’s tourism sector, marginalising people from their traditional occupations, I had vehemently objected and opposed it,” Sardesai said on Wednesday after KR cancelled its plans.

He said that today’s move has come as a victory for the regionalist aspirations, and as a warning that even tacit support of so-called people’s representatives to anti-Goan activities will never be tolerated by the people.

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“Let’s continue to remain vigilant, and work to take Goa forward,” Sardesai further said.

Sardesai said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s principle is that “government has no business to be in business”, hence Konkan Railway should focus on running trains on time and not venturing into the tourism business.

“Konkan Railways’ responsibility is to provide transportation to commuters and see railways run on time. But it is trying to venture into the business of renting a bike and cab, which are already run by locals of Goa, and also in pod hotels,” he said.

–IANS

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Trinamool’s Abhishek Banerjee announces ‘short hiatus’ from political activities

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Kolkata, June 12 (IANS) Trinamool Congress’ General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, on Wednesday afternoon, announced his decision to take a “short hiatus” from political and organisational activities.

He has cited medical grounds as the reason for this break.

“In light of some pressing medical reasons, I will be taking a short hiatus from the organisation. This time off will be an opportunity for me to humbly explore and understand the needs of our people and community,” Banerjee said in a message posted on his official X handle on Wednesday afternoon.

In the message he has also said that he trusts that the West Bengal government will act swiftly and leave no stone unturned to ensure justice to all those in need.

He has referred to the mass-outreach programme that he organised last year before the panchayat elections in the state, for which he travelled throughout West Bengal interacting with people.

“Last year around this time, I had the opportunity to participate in Nabo Jowar Yatra and travelled across West Bengal to understand the issues and challenges faced by the people on the ground. Witnessing first-hand the hardships caused by rising prices and the stoppage of MGNREGA dues deeply affected me,” Banerjee’s message read.

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He claimed that following this observation during the mass outreach programme, Trinamool Congress organised nationwide protests and took the matter to Delhi to fight for people’s rights.

“Thankfully, this was addressed in February, along with an increase in financial assistance through the Lakshmir Bhandar scheme to help families,” his message read.

He also thanked the people of West Bengal for the trust and faith in Trinamool Congress in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls.

“The results of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections reflect the anger and frustration of the people, especially regarding the neglect of basic housing rights due to the state-Centre conflict. We have committed to addressing this by December 31, and I have already requested the HCM and relevant authorities of GoWB to prioritise this issue,” his message read.

–IANS

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Assam to provide monthly scholarship to girl students

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Guwahati, June 12 (IANS) The Assam government will provide monthly financial assistance to female students to promote girl education in the state, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced on Wednesday.

He told reporters here that the government aims to eradicate child marriage in Assam and the girl students should delay their marriage and pursue higher education.

Under the Mukhya Mantri Nijut Moina (MMNM) Scheme, the girl students who are admitted to the Higher Secondary level will get a monthly scholarship of Rs 1,000 in their bank accounts through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) method.

“For female students, who study graduation, they will be paid a scholarship of Rs 1000 per month and for those who pursue post-graduation, the state government will provide monthly financial assistance of Rs 2,500,” Sarma said.

He also mentioned that the financial assistance will be sent to each beneficiary’s bank account on the 11th of every month barring two months — June and July of every year.

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“There are certain conditions in this scheme. Daughters of any MLA, MP or minister of the state are not eligible to get financial assistance under the Mukhya Mantri Nijut Moina Scheme. Moreover, as the state government provides scooters to female students securing fixed cut-off marks in the Higher Secondary examinations, they will also not get the monthly scholarship,” the Chief Minister said.

–IANS

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Vadodara couple duped of Rs 15 lakh in fake visa letter scam

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Vadodara, June 12 (IANS) A couple in Vadodara has been duped of Rs 15 lakh after they were asked to deposit the money for their visa application by a father-daughter duo.

The accused have been identified as Yogesh Joshi and his daughter Shreyanshi Joshi while the victim was identified as Ritesha and her husband.

The complainant, Ritesha, said that she had come in touch with the accused Shreyansi through her in-laws, who has been residing in London for her studies since 2022.

“Shreyansi offered to help Ritesha and her husband for obtaining a work permit visa for London, suggesting that it would cost 18 lakh rupees. Ritesha agreed and subsequently paid six lakh rupees to Shreyansi’s father, with a written acknowledgement on stamp paper. Documents were exchanged via WhatsApp,” an official said.

He said that a month later, Shreyansi returned from London and reassured the victims that all necessary documents for the visa were ready, asking for the remaining amount to finalise the process.

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“The victims paid an additional nine lakh rupees in cash. Following this, an interview via video call took place, and Shreyansi promised that the certificate of sponsorship would arrive within two days. The victims were later called to Shreyansi’s house to collect the sponsorship letter,” he said.

He said that suspicion arose when Shreyansi began making excuses upon being contacted about the visa.

“The victims showed the sponsorship letter to a consultancy firm, which verified it online and found it bogus. The victims have filed a complaint at Karjan Police Station against Shreyansi Joshi and Yogesh Joshi of Parimal Society, Vadodara,” the official said.

The police said that they have intensified efforts to apprehend the accused and further investigate the matter.

–IANS

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Rahul Gandhi in dilemma on whether to retain Wayanad or Raebareli

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Kozhikode, June 12 (IANS) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that he was in a dilemma as to which constituency he should relinquish — Wayanad or Raebareli.

He was in his constituency, Wayanad, which he won in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Gandhi arrived at the Kozhikode airport in the morning and drove to Edavana in Malappuram district which is part of his constituency.

He was given a rousing welcome and in his first public meeting, he said that he was in a dilemma about Wayanad and Raebareli.

“Unfortunately like Prime Minister Modi, I am not guided by god as am a human being…God takes all decisions. But I don’t have that luxury as I am an ordinary human being. My god is the poor people of India. My god is the people of Wayanad. For me, it’s very easy as I will speak to you. What I will commit to the people of Wayanad and Raebareli… whatever decision I take … all of you will be happy,” said Gandhi.

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Gandhi retained his Wayanad seat easily but with a reduced margin which was 4.37 lakh in 2019 and 3.64 lakh votes in 2024. After Edavana he will reach Kalpetta to address his second meeting, and later will return to Delhi.

–IANS

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